If you are here for the swimming news, here's a bit of it. Thursday and Saturday were high school boys' swimming sectionals here in Indiana. For sectionals you can qualify with appropriate swim times for 2 individual events and 2 relay events maximum. The events Matt's coach picked for him were the 100 Freestyle and the 200 Freestyle individual events and the 200 Freestyle Relay (lead position) and the 400 Freestyle Relay (anchor position). Matt placed first in all his events, even got a new best time for the 200 Freestyle, taking off 2 seconds from his old time, qualifying him for Junior Nationals in that swim, and breaking the sectional record. Whew, what a great swim that was, for sure. His two relays also broke the sectional record at this meet.(Photo: Matt F, Jonathan, Jesse, Mike, Matt G, Nik, and Charles sporting their sectional locks.) Before all that, last Sunday, Valentine's Day, the boys all met at Cheffy's house and dyed their hair either blonde or blue (blue and gold being the school colors). Matt opted for blonde.
(Photo: The Seniors (only 6/7ths of them shown) get to go first through the line, followed by the juniors, etc.) Wednesdaynight the team had their pre-sectional spaghetti dinner in the basement of the Masonic Lodge (not just any place will agree to let 50 boys come and shave their hair in their facilities dontchaknow).
(The senior table, left to right: Nik, Jesse, Charles, Scott, Johnny, Cheffy, Matt F.)
(Photo: Ali, Matt, Mike. Because she swims for a different high school during the high school season, but is still part of the guys USA team, Ali dropped by to wish the guys luck.)
(Photo: CHS girls' swim team shows up for a little Risky Business entertainment.) Eats, speeches, fun, and most of all, the shaving of the heads of hair. Well, sort of. The senior guys get to shave the younger guys in any manner they wish...so you can imagine some of the configurations. Nik shaved Matt and gave Matt a nice mohawk haircut.
(Photo: Scott shearing Jonathan; Nik giving Matt a Mohawk; Matt F giving Jack a cross shield, and Johnny giving John a much shorter version with "I Love Beth" carved into it.)
(Photo: At Noblesville for Sectionals, warm-up time, Matt in back row with thumbs up salute.) Thursday night the guys sported the fancy "do"s at preliminaries, but by Friday, the hair was all shaven and by finals on Saturday all the guys were bald and will remain so until after state this week. A strange little tradition, but the guys all seem to have a lot of fun with it.
(Photo: 200 Freestyle: Matt, first; Jonathan 2nd; Kiernan 5th.)
(Photo: 100 Freestyle: Coach Plumb reaches down to congratulate Matt, Jonathan, Charles for Placing 1,2,3.)
(Photo: Never did get a decent shot of the three of them up there, they were so happy to place 1,2,3 in the 100 Freestyle swim, all going to state with their times.)
(Photo: 200 Freestyle Relay first place winners: Matt and Charles up on the podium with Roma and Jonathan standing in front.)
(Photo: First place 400 Freestyle Relay: Matt and Jonathan in back, Nik and Charles in front.)
(Last Photo: Matt and Nik holding the CHS Sectional Trophy, both boys managed to get first in every event they swam in sectionals.)
Where do we stand going into state? Matt is seeded first in the 200 Freestyle (but Jonathan and Daniel are right behind him) and fourth in the 100 Freestyle (with Harrison seeded ahead of him). Both his relays are seeded first for state. It should be an exciting upcoming weekend. While all this is well and good, any swimmer can beat any other swimmer on any given day, so one enters optimistically excited, but realistically prepared for just another swim in just another meet where anything can happen. There is a lot of very fierce competition with a lot of hungry swimmers scheduled to show up at state, all with their A Game. There are no slow swimmers at state. We shall see.